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Types of Mattresses: Pros And Cons For Each of Them

Before shopping for a new bed, it’s important to know the different types of mattresses you have to choose among. Sleep is integral to our lives. Therefore, it is important to get the most restorative and restful sleep possible. One way to ensure this is to choose the right mattress.

However, choosing the best mattress can be a little more complicated than most people would think. There are a number of things that you have to take into consideration.

The most important factor is the types of mattresses you choose. There are many types of mattresses in the market that you can buy today. Continue reading to learn more.

Types of Mattresses

Memory Foam Mattresses

These types of beds are mainly made of polyurethane foam and other chemicals to increase density and viscosity. The material was invented in 1966 by an off-shoot of NASA, and it was first turned into commercial products in the 1970s.

There is absolutely no doubt that the public is interested in memory foam products, but they are particularly interested in memory foam mattresses.

Foam beds mold to the shape of your body, giving you support and aid in pressure relieving by distributing body weight evenly. Most users claim that they are very comfortable and reduce the number of times they need to turn at night.


  • Pressure Relief

One of the main features that distinguish memory foam mattresses from other beds is the ability to respond to pressure. These beds are specifically made to absorb pressure. They achieve this by molding to the shape of your body and distribute weight uniformly.

Instead of resisting the weight exerted by your body, a memory foam mattress would contour to the body curves. This creates a cloudlike or weightless sensation when you sleep. Usually, high-density memory foam offers superior pressure relief.

  • Back and Joint Support

The support offered by a foam bed depends on the weight distribution. And it so happens that foam mattresses provide even weight distribution that helps to achieve natural spinal alignment. This helps to relieve back and joint pressure during sleep.

  • Less Motion Transfer

High-density memory foam mattresses are known to absorb pressure and produce little motion transfer. This is particularly important when sleeping with a partner. Additional support layers play a big role in reducing motion transfer.

  • Large Price and Brand Selection

Unlike other types of mattresses, memory foam beds are very popular. Most bed dealers will have at least two brands of foam mattresses in their showrooms.

Some customers may claim that foam beds are expensive. However, there is little difference in price when you compare foam beds with other types of mattresses in the market.



  • Heavy Weight

High-density foam beds are usually heavy after breaking in, and they may not be so easy to move around or turn. While this may impact lifting and mobility, a heavy mattress will not be easily displaced on the bed frame.

  • Off-gassing

This is, in fact, one of the most popular complaints presented by most customers. Foam mattresses do usually produce off-putting gassing or effusion during unboxing. It may take more than twenty-four hours for the smell to vanish.

Innerspring Mattresses

An innerspring mattress is made of a steel coil support system. There are several types of innerspring beds, and they include: Bonnell coils, offset coils, continuous wire coils, and individually wrapped coils.

The number of coils, coil gauge, designs, and spring shapes can vary from one innerspring bed to another. In most design, the innerspring is covered by upholstery materials or padding. This may include extra layers of smaller steel springs, fiber, and foams.

When compared to foam beds, spring mattresses are much heavier. If you are not fond of memory foam because it is chemically made, then you should settle for spring beds. However, you should know that most innerspring beds contain foam as a cushion layer.

High-quality spring beds can be spotted by the number of coils they contain. You should look for a minimum of 150 coils. However, the number of coils can be deceiving. Quality is also marked by thicker steel and more turns in the springs.

A mattress with fewer, higher quality coils is better compared to one with lots of cheap coils. Steel thickness is measured by gauge. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the steel. Moreover, look for a bed with a quality steel border rod.

Bonnell Coils

Bonnell or open coil beds have hourglass-shaped coils, which are attached to surrounding coils with a small wire. This design provides good initial support and works to isolate motion transfer. Nevertheless, open coils do tend to wear more quickly than other coil constructions.


  • Very popular choice
  • Inexpensive
  • Good firmness level


  • Tend to wear out more quickly
Continuous Coils

These mattresses have rows of cutting-edge coils made of one continuous cord. By distributing the weight load from corner to corner of several springs, every innerspring holds its veracity longer. This results in a system that is stronger and more supportive.


  • Firm support system
  • Inexpensive
  • Coils aid in preventing motion transfer


  • Does not contour well with the body
Offset Coils

Offset coils have a structure similar to Bonnell coils, but have a square head that helps the bed contour better to the body. Offset coils are slightly cylindrical in shape when compared to Bonnell coils, which give them durability.


  • Convenient for either a differential or progressive mattress structure
  • Distributes weight better compared to pocketed coils



  • May be expensive for a tight budget
Individually Wrapped Coil Mattresses

These beds are made of individually wrapped coils contained within different fabric pockets. Every coil is distinct; so, the rest of the mattress is not disturbed by the movement of the surrounding coils.


  • Contours with your body
  • The individual coils do not disturb each other, providing better motion isolation
  • Offers unique comfort layers


  • Less durable than other coil systems

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses consist of a block of foamed rubber particles and sometimes are referred to as rubber foam mattresses. Rubber particles can be of synthetic or natural origin, and combinations are possible.

Natural latex beds do generally contain eighty percent natural latex, completed with synthetic additives. The synthetic additives are necessary in order to process rubber to latex and to obtain the required elastic properties.


  • Natural latex beds are dust mite resistant, meaning that dust mites are unable to grow in natural rubber.
  • Latex beds are hypoallergenic, they are suitable for people with allergy problems and skin irritations.
  • Latex mattresses have no flame-retardant chemicals or toxic outgassing. You will hardly experience off-gassing during unboxing.


  • Mattresses made of synthetic latex may not have any healthful benefits
[alert type=yellow ]Also read: Foam vs Spring vs Latex Mattress

Air Mattresses

Air Mattresses

An air mattress refers to an inflatable bed, which is also known as a blow-up bed or an airbed. Most of these mattresses are made of rubber, reinforced urethane plastic, and polyvinyl chloride or PVC.

An air mattress is made up of separate cells through which air circulates at varying intervals. Therefore, the cells of the mattress inflate and deflate at different times, relieving pressure on the body every few minutes.

Air mattresses make a slight noise due to the air pump, but this does not interfere with sleep and can even be quite soothing. You may prefer air mattresses because you can easily control the firmness of the mattress by pumping in or releasing air.

The three major classes of use of these beds are: full-time permanent use, temporary home use, and camping. Some airbeds are particularly made to achieve different functions, including guest use and camping.

Most camping airbeds are lightweight and compact. This makes them suitable for light backpacking.


  • Comfortable

Sleeping on an airbed is like sleeping on the air, which makes it more comfortable than most mattresses in the market. You can adjust the firmness level either by inflating or deflating air. Therefore, there is no one-firmness for all, but adjustable firmness.

This kind of bed is designed to follow the natural curves of your body. This helps to eliminate pressure points, and cut down on pains and aches when you wake up every morning. This is the ideal choice for people with back and joint problems.

  • Helps with Back Pain

One of the most important aspects of healthy sleeping is being able to sleep in a neutral position. This is a significant problem for most side sleepers. When sleeping your lower back, shoulders, and buttocks are supposed to be supported in order to avoid pressure points.

If not, you will experience back and joint problems. The best solution for this problem is a well-made airbed. When you take a closer look at the anatomy of an airbed, you will observe that it does not have horizontal air chambers.

However, with many vertical chambers, you are able to get superior pressure relief. The chambers with the most weight exerted on them will tend to sink more than the ones with less weight on them. This helps to maintain the natural curve of your spine regardless of your sleeping position.

As a result, you will experience less back pain that is usually caused by unnatural pressure exerted on your spinal curvature. The vertical arrangement of the air chambers allows your shoulder and hip bone to take their natural position with respect to the rest of your spinal column.

  • Economical and Durable

Airbeds are more affordable than most mattress types, but they provide similar advantages. They are economical for outdoor use, such as camping. They are also suitable for overnight guests that you may have in the course of the month or year.

They may appear simple and vulnerable to ripping, but you will be surprised how tough these beds can be. All they need is good care. In actual fact, they can withstand more pressure than most conventional mattresses.


  • Losing Air

All airbeds will lose air at some point. This may be due to frequent use or faulty connections and air pumps.

  • Replacing the Pump Maybe a Problem

This is actually a problem when dealing with built-in air pumps. You will be forced to repair the bed in order to be able to replace the pump.

  • Long Assembly Process

This is particularly the case with large permanent air mattresses. You are likely to take between thirty minutes and one hour to be able to complete the setup.

  • Pump Noise

Most budget brands will have pumps that make a significant amount of noise during inflation or deflation.

Waterbed Mattresses

Waterbed Mattresses

These mattresses contain water. You can adjust a waterbed’s firmness by pumping in or releasing more water. However, you must be careful not to put in too much water, or you may have a flood on your hands.

Waterbeds are not recommended for people who are subject to seasickness. This is so since they move quite a bit in response to your sleeping movements. You may find the movements soothing, but others may find them unsettling.


  • Comfort

Waterbeds are known to evenly support the body. They have the minimum body surface pressure. These beds do hardly sag regardless of your body weight.

  • Restful Sleep

They offer proper body alignment, providing you with adequate comfort during sleep. Your sleep quality will not depreciate irrespective of how long you use the bed.


  • Not the ideal choice for people who are prone  to seasickness

Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid beds offer the best of both worlds by combining the strong support system from two or more types of mattresses. They can contain memory foam or latex layers along with an innerspring system.

Hybrid mattresses offer the best way of experiencing the benefits of different types of materials in a single design. You can combine the superior pressure relieving properties of memory foam and the advanced motion isolation of innerspring system.

Many manufacturers have embraced the production of hybrid beds to take advantage of the many benefits that come with the individual mattress materials.


  • Best of Both Worlds

Unlike regular beds, hybrid construction provides you with the best of both worlds in terms of performance. So, if a bed is made up of foam and innerspring materials, then you get to enjoy the benefits of foam and spring mattresses in a single structure.

  • Familiar Support

Typically, hybrid constructions have similar coil size as those of innerspring beds. However, they use foam or latex for contouring and support. The coil system will provide the familiar support of an innerspring bed.



  • Unreliable Firmness Levels

One of the major demerits of hybrid mattresses is the firmness level. With most structures, the firmness level may be too soft or too firm as opposed to what is advertised by the manufacturer.

Final Words

Are you in search of a new mattress? If you are, then you should understand all the types of mattresses before you select your new mattress.

While a memory foam bed may be the best choice for you, another person may be satisfied with a latex or innerspring bed. The choice is really yours.